By Joel Hall
Hundreds of runners are expected to converge on the Lake Spivey community this Saturday for the second annual Lake Spivey Road Race. The proceeds of the race -- which includes a certified, 15-kilometer race and a 5-kilometer run/walk -- will benefit the Rainbow House, a local shelter for abused and neglected children.
According to Neil Farmer, director of the road race and a Lake Spivey resident, the 5K portion of the race will take place in the Lake Spivey Country Club and Fox Fire subdivisions in Jonesboro, and the 15K portion will take place in Clayton and Henry counties around Lake Spivey and Lake Jodeco.
He said this year's race will likely attract 450 runners, many of them seasoned veterans.
"Both races start about 100 feet from the entrance of Clayton County International Park," Farmer said. "They will head east onto Walt Stephens [Road]. The 5K runners will turn left onto Seven Oaks [Drive] and the 15K runners will go straight and turn right into the Bay View subdivision.
"This is not your standard 15K or 5K that every church seems to have on the weekend," Farmer added. "This is to attract elite runners ... people who are running the five-minute mile and things like that. The longer distances you have, the more elite runners you get."
Farmer said that many participants in the race will be there to gain points in the Run and See Georgia Grand Prix, a state-wide series of competitive races. He said the Chickamauga Chase and the Peachtree City Classic Road Race are the only other two 15-kilometer races in the state that qualify in the Run and See Georgia Grand Prix.
"The Georgia Grand Prix is a series where runners get points for completing races," Farmer said. "If you complete a 5K you get points and if you complete a 15K, you get points. At the end of the year, they count up the points and give out awards. This is an event that will have people who are training for marathons. Some people, to get the points, are going to run both the 5K and the 15K."
According to Farmer, much of the proceeds from Saturday's road race will benefit Rainbow House, a Jonesboro-based non-profit shelter which serves as a safe haven for battered and abused children. Last year's proceeds benefited Arts Clayton, he said.
"They [the Rainbow House] do things for the kids and it's a worthwhile charity," Farmer said. "I like to keep my charitable givings close to home because Lord knows there is enough to do locally."
Rainbow House Business Manager Maresha Williams could not be reached for comment on Monday.
The Lake Spivey Road Race 5K and 15K runs will start at 8 a.m., Saturday, at Clayton County International Park, located at 2300 Ga. Highway 138, in Jonesboro. Same-day registration will take place between 6:30 and 7:45 a.m. Registration fees are $30 for the 5K run/walk, $35 for 15K race, and $50 to run both races. Teams of five people or more will get a discount of $5 per person.
Also at International Park on Saturday, from 10 a.m., to 4 p.m., the Clayton County Parks and Recreation Department will host a Festival and Barbecue Competition. The festival is free.
For more information on the race, visit www.lakespiveyroadrace.org.